Conscious Capitalism: When Value is Inherent, a Business Can Thrive
Conscious Capitalism, a philosophy that inspired a book and now a global movement, is an approach to business built on the fundamental truth that people aspire to find meaning and purpose in their lives. The core principles of Conscious Capitalism offer the blueprint to a newer and more relevant approach to building and leading a business. These notions have always been central to who we are at IGS.
Conscious Capitalism emphasizes ideas like trust, collaboration and compassion. When Scott White, IGS’ president and CEO, first read Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, the philosophy resonated as the book captured many of the principles that IGS abides by. Four principles offer a blueprint for practicing a different approach to building and leading businesses
There are four specific tenets of Conscious Capitalism:
Higher purpose: Businesses should exist for reasons beyond just making a profit. At IGS, our purpose is to build a meaningful energy future together. One that is clean, smart and efficient.
Stakeholder orientation: Conscious businesses value and care for everyone in their ecosystem; those who interact with and are impacted by their business. At IGS, we think beyond just shareholders. When we make decisions, we think about our employees, our customers, our vendors and the community. More recently, we’ve started thinking about the environment as our stakeholder, too.
Conscious leadership: Conscious leaders inspire positive transformation and bring out the best in all those who surround them. Leadership at IGS is based on inspiration, caring and compassion in addition to hitting business targets. We’ve made tough decisions to exit leaders when they’ve shown that they weren’t driven by service to people and compassionate leadership.
Conscious culture: Culture is created through values, principles and practices that define how a business goes about their business. Culture should be about accountability, transparency, integrity, loyalty, fairness and personal growth. At IGS, we place a high priority on caring for our culture. We’re protective of it and invest in it.
A philosophy that’s inspiring corporate America
Countless CEOs have taken a stand when it comes to Conscious Capitalism, including Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock. Check out his insights on the role of public companies and taking a stand when it comes to acting consciously.
The movement was popularized by John Mackey, co-founder and CEO at Whole Foods, and Raj Sisodia, an economist at Babson College. Together, they wrote Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business. They are also co-founders of the nonprofit organization, Conscious Capitalism, Inc., which has 26 chapters in the U.S.
IGS was a founding member of the Columbus Chapter for Conscious Capitalism. White, says, “We are understanding how these four specific tenets can help us as a business to reach a higher potential and foster a more positive environment. And we simply wanted to share how this is working for us with other businesses here in Central Ohio.”
White goes on to say that a business is inherently good when it creates value for the world beyond profit. He sees his role as a leader within the company as helping IGS become a role model for capitalism.
“This means—in addition to being a profitable and innovative energy company—we aim to achieve success in a way that contributes back to the world we all live in.”
Conscious Capitalism comes to life at IGS
IGS always aims to do the right thing with an understanding that doing so could require greater resources. According to Jen Bowden, IGS’ director of social impact, this is a worthwhile investment in the eyes of IGS’ leadership. “There are times when IGS has to make decisions that cost the company more money, but we have a track record of doing the right thing by our employees, our customers and our community. We think about those on the other side of the equation—our stakeholders—and don’t focus solely on how much money could be lost or gained,” she says.